LCD Soundsystem, Band of Skulls, Philadelphia Grand Jury, TEENAGERSINTOKYO, Laura Marling - Singles-Round Up 17/05/2010
Bill Cummings 20/05/2010
So I have been entrusted with this week's singles round up, last week's occupier of the singles chair Rhian is off being charmed by good looking young men from the NME while singles sub Simon is off hob nobbing with journo legends over at the Quietus, or maybe they're just neck deep in Uni work, who can tell? Anyway the singles box has been left vacant, and I decided to do my bit for queen and country and review this week's new releases. But rather like our fine new CON-DEM coalition and their 'new' politics (that looks and smells rather like the old politics dontchaya think?), this is the brand 'new' singles review and nothing like the old singles review, um yeah or maybe it'll be like every other week and I'll just be listening to some records and telling you which ones I like and which ones I hate eh?! Like Gordon Brown leaving rotting fish under our esteemed new PM Dave Cameron's bed at NO 10, Simon has left some real stinkers at the bottom of this week's pile!
First up Dan Round has something to say on the horror that is:
Bodi Bill - “I Like Holden Caulfield” (single released 17th May 2010 on Sinnbus Records)
“I Like Holden Caulfield” fits nicely into the “Shit songs about Holden Caulfield” category then, alongside that one Green Day did when they were wee sprogs. Of the complimentary B-sides, “Tip Toe Walk” is a remix which is equally as disjointed and uninventive as the A-side and features further annoyingly fractured vocals, while “Very Special Small” signals a different, more organic direction with guitars and various other instruments accompanying the compulsory synths and laptops, but it too nevertheless passes without leaving any redemption or even a glimpse of confidence that they could be a successful indie-electronica crossover act. Based on their endeavours on this single, Bodi Bill are not worth investing a great deal of time in. Just like the novel this song is inspired by, then… did I mention how much I dislike “The Catcher in the Rye”…? read more here.
As their new series of rosetinted re-enactments of the decade that gave us greed, Thatcher, new romantics and shoulder pads indicates, The Beeb keep telling us that the 80s is back, well where have they been for the last ten years?! I mean I was dancing to the Faint's awesome electro clash anthem 'Agenda Suicide' back in the early two thousands. Now the lazy 80s electro-pop bandwagon has been clambered aboard by inhabitants of the upper reaches of charts for the last three years or more, hopefully we're reaching a tipping point as this week's singles depict. Take the latest yanky peroxide blonde IT girl Kesha with ”Your Love Is My Drug” her frankly vile mix of cheesy bagin' Ibiza dance beats and annoying nonsense spouting Shakira aping vocals, its truly hideous thing to witness, rather like that girl that's has a few too many Barcardi breezers, and then decides to treat us all to her screechy rendition of her favourite pop song while she dances dementedly around her hand bag. But worse is to come dear reader! Behold Christina Agulera's new lunge toward success with new single 'Not Myself Tonight' where she's err literally not herself, if you thought that she'd taken the biscuit and stripped herself bare for the 'Dirty' video, then you ain't seen nothing yet because her new Lady Ga Ga wannabe black bondage session comes replete with a rip on Madonna's "Human Nature" period, its all awfully desperate and a total waste of time. Atlanta-based rapper/musician/producer B.o.B's debut single 'Nothin' On You' has gone straight to the top of the UK singles midweek's chart - selling almost three times as many copies as its nearest rival! But It's not got alot to offer on anything really, a slight summertime slice of RnB, featuring some rather dubiously dated rapping 'whether a bus or a plan or a on a car on a train you are on my brain...' he ain't no De La Soul people. Lethal Bizzle's 'Go, Go, Go' is truely awful if you thought N Dubz had the reign on dire ringtone hip hop that blares from converted Chav cars, then think again, as a deluded Mr Bizzle appears to think he's Britain's answer to 50cent firing out a list of what he wants from the back of a fag packet (“I want twenty girls, I want a strip club, I want Beyonce, Aleesha Dixon I want a Las Vegas Addiction”), Technicolor club beats and squelches collide before being rudely interrupted a raunchy female vocal sample, personally I'd like him to take his own advice and just GO home, lie down and drink some tea....Meanwhile we head further toward pop oblivion with album chart bothering guys The Baseballs who appear to have taken an unwelcome 'back to the future' style journey back to the 1950s, to recreate Rhianna's 'Umbrella' in a horrendous rockabilly stylee, it's a sick making insult to the overplayed original, whoever came up with this idea needs shooting, not since Jive Bunny or Robson and Jerome have we seen such bare faced cheek, from corporate magpies in the pop charts. In a bid to keep my blood pressure at least a manageable level, I'm not even going to mention this week's speech impediment folk-pop-tronica from Ellie Goulding, or the awfulness of Boyzone's new uptempo track...
Now we've reached the nadir of this week's releases, the only way is up right? Well yeah kinda, Scottish indie darlings Camera Obscura are releasing something again on this occasion a cover of Richard Hawley's sweeping ballad "The Nights Are Cold" and Hawley returns the favour by covering Camera Obscura's "The Sweetest Thing". It's a great idea for a single but what's it like in practise I hear you cry? Initially it's like a delicate kiss on my brow, Tracyanne Campbell soothing vocals bring blessed relief from the previous dirges I've had to sit through all in your name, but all too briefly I lose interest, sure this sounds nice but I'm not sure its 'single material' though, a bit too sleepy. Another female soothing my ringing ears this week is Laura Marling with 'Rambling Man' a perfect illustration of why she's so admired, subtle folksy 60s tinged song writing and a voice that sounds like it's emanating from a forty year old folk legend but in actual fact projected impressively from the lungs of twenty year old Laura, its a shame that taken in isolation this really isn't a good choice for a 'standout single' working better as a cog of her recent well accomplished “I Speak because I can' album instead. Joining Camera Obscura and Marling in the drawer marked 'pleasant but less than standout' is erstwhile Guillemot aka ivory tinkling songwriter Fyfe Dangerfield, with a luxurious cover of Billy Joel's 'Always A Women' you've probably seen it on that advert for um no any ideas? And its good, if a little middle of the road and forgettable, showcasing Fyfe's gorgeous tone, but you gotta question his motives for releasing a cover when he's only recently released a new album of original material(Simon: maybe he fancied making a few quid and getting a top ten hit Bill?) Probably Si, Probably. New One Little Indian tykes Wild Palms release their debut single 'Dive Deep' the combination of jagged, angular rhythms and melodramtic vocals are alright, for a minute or so, before collapsing into mundane nothingness, all this herky-jerky post Futureheads stuff was fashionable a good few years back you know lads?! Back to the 80s again with TEENAGERSINTOKYO and their new release 'End It Tonight' that welds the icy cool post punk vocals of Samantha Lim (who has that Elastica sneer thing going on), to a groovy hand clapping electro beat that's dotted by keyboard blotches, its quite refreshing and more in keeping with what much of what 1980s pop was actually all about a mixture of DIY fun and attitude. This Owl City guy is bloody popular isn't he? His new slice of casio dancefloor pop 'Umbrella Beach' with its catchier than Swine Flu vocals and watered down beats this probably does well on Itunes but its rather lightweight and quite tedious really, I'd rather stick on some Postal Service…
Meanwhile Aussies Philadelphia Grand Jury treat us to a toe tapping 70s flecked slice of summer pop on 'The Good News' this limited edition 7” single, is being released as part of the Too Pure Singles Club. It's kind of effort you could hear blaring out of your radio at some sweltering BBQ this summer, that's if we get ANY more sun that is, it's inoffensively catchy. I thought Band of Skulls were like some shoegazer act, but clearly not because 'Death by Diamonds and Pearls' is stompy 70s slacker rock that reminds one of the White Stripes, it's dirty riffage and seedy vocals ain't half bad especially in its clattering outro replete with monstrous drumming and guitar solo(who does solo's anymore mannn?!), but you can't help but wonder if you've heard this kind of rock track a hundred times before?
You've probably noticed by now that this week isn't that great for new singles but just as most of my hope was seeping away, I was pleased, nay delighted to see that LCD Soundsystem's Drunk Girls' taken from their latest album, is out this week( when I thought it had come out week's ago?!). Anyway given the competition this is undoubtedly my single of the week, a menagerie of demented sounds crammed into one space, a frenzied rhythm section plays out, while a drawling James Murphy who one imagines is riding a Zeebra or something crazyezee conducts this parties madness, microphone in hand, 'Drunk Girls' induces one to do a silly dance, and makes me really thirsty for some alcohol which at this time of night can only be a good thing!